New year ushers in new development chiefs

Aid transparency group Publish What You Fund has a new chief at the helm, announcing Tuesday the appointment of Rupert Simons as its new CEO.

Prior to his new role, Simons was country head of Tony Blair’s Africa Governance Initiative in Liberia, and senior adviser to the nation’s president, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. His team advised the president on improving government systems and structures, and also participated in building the skills and capacity of public officials serving in the government.

Clockwise from left: new Publish What You Fund CEO Rupert Simons, new VSO International CEO Philip Goodwin and new UNMEER chief Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed. Photo by: Publish What You Fund / Twitter / United Nations

Simons has worked in government and with nonprofit and private firms, experience he may find useful as he leads the aid transparency group in getting organizations — donor agencies, multilaterals and nongovernmental organizations — to be more transparent and publish their aid information according to IATI standards.

One of his biggest tasks this year is to ensure transparency and accountability remain at the core of discussions as world leaders agree on a new set of goals post-2015, and to grow support for the campaign to produce more useful and comparable data in development.

“There are big decisions coming up on the Post-2015 Development Agenda and Financing for Development. These decisions need to move us towards a fully transparent, accountable aid system. I look forward to leading the team and working with our partners to achieve this,” Simons said in a statement. He officially starts next week.

But Publish What You Fund is not the only organization welcoming new leadership this year.

Philip Goodwin, Tree Aid’s chief executive, will take over as CEO of VSO International in March. He will be replacing Jim Emerson, who took on the job — on an interim basis — in July after former chief, Marg Mayne, stepped down from office.

Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed meanwhile took over from Anthony Banbury this week, and has officially assumed the task of heading the U.N. Mission for Ebola Emergency Response.

What are your wish lists for these new CEOs? Are there others we missed? Please let us know by leaving a comment below.

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About the author

  • Jenny Lei Ravelo

    Jenny Lei Ravelo is a Devex Senior Reporter based in Manila. She covers global health, with a particular focus on the World Health Organization, and other development and humanitarian aid trends in Asia Pacific. Prior to Devex, she wrote for ABS-CBN, one of the largest broadcasting networks in the Philippines, and was a copy editor for various international scientific journals. She received her journalism degree from the University of Santo Tomas.